Doro - Force Majeure (Mercury) 1989
Doro Pesch's first solo-album, after leaving Warlock, is less metallic than her former band, although still having a sound that is not that far off from them. However, I can see why back in '89 some Warlock fans were a bit disappointed. In retrospect, however, "Force Mejeure" is not a bad album at all. It features some stellar melodic numbers with Doro singing her heart out. The album starts off on a weak note with "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," a Procol Harum cover. While it's not a bad cover, I am just not sure it was the best track to chose for the album opener. Actually I think the original track "Save My Soul" would have been a far better opener. Another standout track is the blue-based, melodic metal track "Mission of Mercy". This song certainly has an endearing emotional quality that is rarely seen in metal. I think the vocals are also quite fitting in this song. Other standout tracks are "World Gone Wild", "I Am What I Am," and "Cry Wolf ". The album finishes off with a short acoustic track sung in German.
Doro drummer Bobby Rondinelli went on to play with Black Sabbath for a spell.
Doro (Polygram) 1990
1. "Unholy Love"
Doro is a mixture of melodic heavy metal and some attempts at heavy metal anthems. This disc lists Gene Simmons as executive producer. Gene also has several writing credits, which should give an idea of what to expect on this platter. Ex-Black & Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer plays guitar on a good portion of the album. As most Kiss die-hards know, Tommy has been Gene's assistant for many years. As such songs like "Rock On" and "Something Wicked This Way Come" have a big Kiss flavor to them. As a matter of fact, "Only You" is a Kiss cover. "Rock On" is an alternate lyrics version of a song that Black N Blue did on "In Heat", also produced by Simmons. Mixing the American Kiss style with Doro's German metal background actually works quite well. Doro's vocals are as aggressive as can be expected for this type of music. While many complain about her singing I have always liked her voice myself. Doro is a big step away from the Warlock sound, but it still works quite well for her. In other words, I like it. Guest artists include: guitarist Lanny Cordola (Guiffria/House of Lords/Magdallan) and bass guitarist Chuck Wright (House of Lords).
Doro - True at Heart (Vertigo) 1991
Doro - Angels Never Die (Polygram) 1993
Doro - Machine II Machine (Polygram) 1995
1. "Tie Me Up"
Hmmmm...not sure what happened here. Doro departs from the metal and hard rock she is known for and experiments with a sort of industrial meets pop sound. Replacing the heavy riffs and guitar solos are robotic, electronic beats and odd electronic effects. As well, Doro isn't singing as much here, and is instead moaning, in what I can only assume is an attempt to sound sexy. I must admit, I love Doro's voice and find even here more commercial, melodic stuff very appealing. This CD, however, is a very disappointing. Unless you are a Doro die-hard and need to own everything she has ever release or get this free (as I did), pass.
Doro - Love Me In Black (WEA) 1998
1. "Do You Like It?"
Well, this one is a slight improvement over "Machine II Machine" but certainly not of the caliber of Doro's first two albums or even much of the stuff that would follow this. "Do You Like It?", "Terrorvision" and "Brutal And Effective" might be the heaviest stuff Doro has ever released, but it's still infected with that industrial feel that began with "Machine II Machine". At least with this album the guitars drive the heavier songs, instead of just those mechanical beats. The real standout tracks on this CD, however, are the ballads such as the title track, "I Want You Back", "Tausend Mal Gelebt", which is sung in German and album closer "Like An Angel". Doro's voice sounds outstanding on these tracks and the electronic elements are downplayed giving the beautiful vocal melodies a change to be out in the front. "Barracuda" is a Heart cover. Man, this could have been a sweet cover, but as it stands, the electronic sounding drums and the industrial delivery sort of ruin the appeal. While I don't think the heavier tracks are terrible, it's just not what I want to hear from Doro. I can appreciate her desire to explore different musicial territories, but for this fan, I listen to Doro for that classic, melodic heavy metal sound and here exquisite voice. I'm just not interested in hearing her attempt to be Fear Factory or Rammstein. This albums was only released in Germany. (thanks for the CD Kieran.)
Doro - Best Of (Polygram) 1998
1. "Cool Love"
A fairly decent overview of Doro's material with a few songs from Warlock thrown in for good measure. As with any compilation put together by a label there are songs that I think should have been included such as "Save My Soul" and "Rock On". Certainly I would have much rather have had one of these songs than two versions of "Ceremony", despite it being a good song itself. The live version of "Burning the Witches" was a nice inclusion. One thing about compilations like this is that I always hope that the booklet will say which song came from which album. While those who already own all the band's catalog may already know this information, the casual fan will not. If someone really likes a particular song they may be interested in picking up the album it came off of. It seems to me it might help to sell some of the artist's back catalog. In anycase, this information was not included on this CD.
For some reason I have not followed Doro's music since she left Warlock in the 80's. When I saw this on someones trade list, I thought it would be a good opportunity to check it out. Certainly part of my decision to check it out was the fact that Motorhead's Lemmy makes an appearance here. Along with writing "Alone Again" Lemmy also does some guest guitar acoustic work and vocals on "Alone Again" as well as Doro's cover of Motorhead's 'Love Me Forever.' I have always heard the Doro stuck to very traditional, true metal only. This may have been true in the past, but this release contains some elements of more modern metal. Certainly this is by no means a nu-metal release or some modern-rock piece of crap. Doro knows how to write a good heavy metal song and her amazing voice is what makes this record so impressive. She also writes some pretty nice ballads, although I am more interested in the heavier songs. The disc features several guests, including Lemmy (Motorhead), Al Pitrelli (Savatage / Megadeth), Eric Singer (Alice Cooper/Kiss), Bob Kulick (Meatloaf) and Slash (Guns & Roses). There is also a cover of Billy Idol's 'White Wedding.'
Doro - Fight (SPV) 2002
1. "Fight" (4:10)
I think Doro's catalog is spotty. She hasn't been consistent over they years, even experimenting with different styles of hard music. Some of it worked, some of it didn't. "Fight" continues Doro's experimenting with her sound. The album starts off with the title track and Doro giving a raspy vocal performance. This song is good enough. The very next song is a bit more modern, complete with Doro screaming "yeah, yeah, yeah" to fill out the chorus. This is not a bad song, but not her best either. "Descent" features Peter Steele of Type-O-Negative sharing the vocals with Doro. This song is dark, heavy and gothic. It's probably the heaviest track on the CD, and also one of the most interesting. "Undying" starts off as a quiet, piano ballad, a sound that Doro excells at, then builds into a nice power ballad. "Salvaje" is again a very modern sounding song although Doro's vocal style just won't allow this to be labeled modern rock. The song "Legends Never Die" was written by none other than Gene Simmons (Kiss) and is a nice melodic number with some good lead guitar work. "Rock Before You Bleed" is a metal anthem and more of what I expect from Doro. I can picture Doro leading an audience along in chanting the chorus. Likewise "Wild Heart" is an excellent Doro composition. "Fight By Your Side" is yet another ballad. "Chained" comes the closest to having the classic Warlock sound that so many fans long for. The CD finishes off with one of Doro's signature German song. My copy is the limited edition digi and contains the additional track "Song for Me". Overall, not a bad album. I would imagine that most of her fans will find something to like about this album. I know I did.
After along hiatus from releasing new music, "Warrior Soul" was released in 2006 and is one of her best albums in a long time. Abandoning any sort of experimentation with modern rock or otherwise, Doro and her band stick to simple, classic, melodic heavy metal and hard rock. For the most part, "Warrior Soul" is a mid-tempo record that is guitar driven, though Doro's vocals are certainly at the front and center of each and every song. Everything in the music is of secondary importance to her vocals, even though there are some serious rockers in the form of "You're My Family", "Creep Into My Brain" and "Strangers Yesterday". Songs like "Thunderspell" sound like classic 80's, sing-along metal that could have been recorded by Doro's former band Warlock. "Heaven I See" is one of several expected power ballads from Doro, starting slowly with acoustic guitars and building momentum as the song moves along. Likewise "In Liebe Und Freundschaft" is a power ballad and the obligatory track sung in her native tongue. (The song translates to something like "With Love and Friendship") It's actually a very beautiful song. However, "Above the Ashes" is the best of the bunch, being a melodic and emotional song with Doro whispering and moaning a bit. The album ends with a bluesy, melodic rocker titled "Shine On" and a reprise of the title track hidden at the end of track thirteen. Pretty much all the songs are built around strong melodies. The exceptions are "Ungebrochen" as short punk song and "Creep Into My Brain" which is a heavy, slightly more modern sounding number. Of course, the main ingredient on "Warrior Soul" is Doro's sexy voice. Though she is technically not one of the world's greatest singers, she sings with passion, charisma and character. That's more that can be said for the hordes of paint-by-number pop singers on the market currently. For the most part, "Warrior Soul" is an album that was cut from the same mold as "Force Majeure" and the classic Warlock material.